University Officials Release Sun God Policy Updates

The Office of Student Conduct released policy and safety updates for Sun God Festival 2015 on April 15.

All current residential-life and student-conduct policies remain the same, with the addition of policies specific to Sun God including a restriction from the festival based on misconduct in the days leading up to the festival. 

The restriction policy will apply to incidents occurring during the weekend of the Sun God Festival, from Thursday, April 30 at 8 p.m. to Monday, May 4 at 8 a.m. Additionally, the behaviors that would bar a student from attending the festival include: being given a citation and released by the officer (e.g., all behaviors qualifying in an arrest, possession of controlled substances – not including marijuana), and being arrested and taken to jail (e.g., being under the influence of and/or distributing controlled substances, driving under the influence, rejection from a Detox facility, etc.). An individual will also be barred if any of these behaviors result in an individual being taken to a hospital, rather than being arrested, taken to jail or cited and released.

The residential policy is the same as the 2014 Sun God Festival Residential Guest Policy, except only residents of specific residential areas will be allowed in the living spaces of those areas during the weekend of Sun God Festival. However, non-residents will be allowed in public spaces in those areas, including study rooms, dining areas and outdoor spaces in residential areas. Also, if nonresidents do not comply with staff when asked to leave the living area, they may be cited for noncompliance.

Director of Associated Students Concerts and Events Seraphin Raya discussed how, this year, two different security companies will monitor the campus and specified that only North Campus will be blocked off. 

“The Village and I-House will look similar to how they did last year. This year we have hired two separate security companies. The one charged with North Campus is experienced in working in college residential areas,” Raya said. “We are confident that this company, paired with proper briefings and signage, will resolve the main concerns students had last year.”

Students may be restricted from attending future campus events and could have their housing contract revoked if they are in “egregious violation of the Student Conduct Code.” The policy defines egregious behavior as being “actions that put oneself, others or the event itself at risk” and includes, but is not limited to, physical assault, threats to others or property, use of controlled substances (e.g. LSD, cocaine, mushrooms) and drug distribution. Also, graduating seniors who engage in these behaviors could have their degree delayed by being suspended for one quarter and may be barred from participating in commencement.

The formal student-conduct process will not be applied to students using or receiving medical assistance under the Responsible Action Protocol if they contact a university official, including a Resident Advisor, police officer or Residential Security Officer, and if no other major Student Conduct Code violations, such as disorderly conduct, physical assault and the distribution of controlled substances, are being committed at the time RAP is used and if the student has not received protection under RAP more than once in two years.

Raya said the Sun God Festival policy is not exclusively strict and resembles the festival policies at other universities. 

“This perception [that UCSD has comparatively stricter policies] stems from a lack of experience, and a lot of the time UCSD’s policies are not as strict,” Raya said. “Although we will be having pat-downs and narcotic-detecting canines at the entrances, students will have multiple chances to get rid of any questionable substances in Drug Amnesty Boxes with no questions asked. It is important for us to follow industry standards when planning such a high-profile event, especially when UCSB is taking very similar steps during Deltopia and its Halloween weekend.”

In addition, Raya said, inside sources from the San Diego Police Department confirmed that more officers than usual will be sent to the UCSD and La Jolla area during the weekend of the Sun God Festival to watch for individuals driving under the influence and other illegal activities.